Ncuti Gatwa on the Importance of His Gay Character in ‘Sex Education’
If you have watched Netflix’s comedy-drama series Sex Education, you must be familiar with Mizero Ncuti Gatwa, commonly known as Ncuti Gatwa.
In the coming-of-age series, the Rwandan-Scottish actor famously played the character of Eric Effiong — Otis Milburn’s [Asa Butterfield] gay best friend from a religious Ghanaian-Nigerian family.
His performance even helped him earn a BAFTA Scotland Award for Best Actor in Television and two BAFTA Television Award nominations for Best Male Comedy Performance.
Ncuti Gatwa’s Gay Character Was Life-Changing for the LGBTIQ+ Community
Speaking with Attitude for its October issue in 2021, Gatwa opened up about his gay role in Sex Education and how it helped members of the LGBTIQ+ community.
He said that the series had a massive impact on members of the community who are unable to be their true, authentic selves.
“We talk about the silliness and the fun of the show...[but] then you get a message from somebody in Saudi Arabia or Nigeria, somewhere where being gay is illegal or there is a death penalty or it’s very homophobic, and you think, [expletive] hell, this show is important because it really is educational,” he shared.
Gatwa specifically remembered receiving a message from a fan in the Middle East.
He said the fan told him that they escaped to their dreams every time they watched Sex Education for 40 minutes.
Reading that, the actor felt, “I was like, wow, you escaped to you dreams? This is a dream to you? We’re having so much fun here doing this thing, but do you know what I mean, this guy has to escape to a place of acceptance through a screen.”
The 29-year-old actor further shared that the messages related to the show and his character mattered to him and his team.
Ncuti Gatwa on His On-Screen Gay Partner Connor Swindells
In the series, Gatwa is together with his former bully-turned-boyfriend Adam, played by Connor Swindells.
During the previous interview, he said that it was fascinating to witness his character play partner to Adam since the two roles had a history with each other.
The actor continued to say that his character, Eric, always preferred to live his most unapologetic life and the recent season [season 3] was the most determined he had been.
Doing that, he explored his “heritage and culture and how that incorporates into his journey in terms of his sexuality and accepting that.”
Ncuti Gatwa Keeps His Personal Life Private
While his on-screen romance is known to all, his personal life or real-life love life, so to say, is under wraps.
Talking with The Guardian in 2020, the actor admitted he didn’t prefer sharing his personal life in public.
Instead, he chose to talk about a recent trip to Rwanda, where he went after 15 years.
He said his family members lived there, including his parents, nine siblings, and it took him a long time to see them all.
“I’m not going to lie, I was a bit cautious about going back, because I was, like, ‘I wonder how they’re going to take me,’” he added.
Cut to the chase — a report by Elle Australia claimed that Gatwa used to date Jessica Hardwick and were pictured together in 2018.
Since then, however, he has not been spotted with her, and his relationship status is unconfirmed.